ST.LOUIS — The American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas is deploying more volunteers to Louisiana to support the disaster response efforts. Two volunteers will leave Monday morning from the Greater St. Louis chapter, 10195 Corporate Square Drive, and take an Emergency Response Vehicle to Louisiana. Two volunteers left from Springfield, Missouri this morning with an Emergency Response Vehicle.
Prior to the requests for emergency response vehicles, the region had already sent 30 volunteers to the gulf, 23 of those are from Missouri and the rest are from Arkansas. Those teams were in place prior to Hurricane Laura hitting and have now been moved to locations where the assistance is needed. These latest teams from Springfield and St. Louis will bring the total deployed to Louisiana to 34 in the region, 27 of those from Missouri.
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The teams will be deployed for two weeks. More volunteers will be sent if requested and also to replace those who have completed their two-week deployments, if the needs remain.
More disaster volunteers needed for deployments
The American Red Cross of Missouri-Arkansas is recruiting members of the public to volunteer to deploy to help those expected to be affected by devastating disasters this summer. These individuals don’t have to sign up for a long-term commitment, but for only as long as they wish to help. Fewer of the current Red Cross volunteers are available due to COVID-19 and some of them being in the high-risk category.
Individuals need to be healthy and able to deploy for a 14-day period and work 8 to 12-hour shifts. Three hours of virtual training (six hours for supervisors) will be required prior to deployment and a pre-health screening will be conducted. Interested volunteers are asked to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, and consult their health care provider to determine if they should deploy.
The Red Cross primarily needs volunteers to support sheltering efforts, but other disaster response needs also exist including health support which requires a nursing license. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then traditional shelters will be opened. To help keep people safe, additional precautions will be in place and special training has been developed to ensure protocols are followed.
For shelters, the Red Cross needs volunteers to staff areas including reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks. Both associate and supervisory level opportunities are available.
In Disaster Health Services, volunteers with health care backgrounds are needed in shelters to help assess individuals’ health and provide hands-on care in alignment with professional licensures (RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA). Specifically, volunteers are needed who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters; this could include assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medications, durable medical equipment or consumable medical supplies.
To volunteer, please go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.